Not Your Average Angel by Imaliea

Not Your Average Angel

by Imaliea in The Angels

An older artwork from 2010, which was a repaint of an even older work :)

Details - prepare for a long!comment full of my thoughts and insights. Feel free to gloss over.

Firstly, dear god this thing nearly killed me. I think I painted his FACE ALONE over FIVE TIMES. Yikes! And his hands, wings, SHIRT, everything I painted over and over. I fought with this piece, I really did, and it fought back.

I wanted it to be more real, with more depth and atmosphere, so I hope I pulled it off. I changed a few things, and actually didn't paint straight from any one reference. I will credit the ever-lovely Jensen Ackles as inspiration for the face. Not a straight likeness of him, but his lips and nose were an influence definitely.

The pose is fairly similar to the old one, though I am now showing much more of his body. Different shirt, going more with 'hinting at what's underneath' rather than the muscle-shirt thing he was rocking in the old painting.

And, yes, tattoos this time around! Not just any old random tattoos either...
On his right arm, is the ambigram "Loyalty/Betrayal", referencing his conflicted relationship with Heaven.

Around his left wrist, an amphisbaena, which translates roughly to "to go both ways" (take that however you like ;) ), a mythological two-headed snake - it has a head on each end of its body. Why this creature??

I'm glad you asked! Firstly, it's said it can travel in either direction, just changes which 'head' is in charge (and my doesn't that sound a bit dirty?), and in my interpretation here, I'm meaning this as one head facing Heaven, the other Earth. It is also said the amphisbaena can hold its other head in its mouth and roll along in a hoop - to me this is very reminiscent to the Ouroboros, an ancient serpent that is always depicted in a circle with its tail in its mouth. It often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, so I'm throwing a bit of that in there too. Both these creatures are snakes (though the amphisbaena has been depicted as other two-headed creatures as well), which, among many things, represent rebirth, protection against evil, sexuality, and is a mediator between the physical and spiritual world. Not to mention in the Bible, where snakes represent sin, temptation and destruction. See where I'm going with all this?

Wow, all that meaning packed into one little tattoo!

There's a lot I glossed over / left out / butchered regarding those myths but you get the basic concept.

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